Label Styles, Arrowheads, and Xrefs

An interesting development occurred with a client recently. They are using an old practice of having a base drawing with all the labels and associated data in that base drawing. This base drawing is then xref’d into the plot sheets.

The interesting development was when they had label styles where the dragged state arrowhead was set to none. In the base drawing the labels all looked correct with no arrowhead. Yet, when the drawing was referenced in the labels now had arrows!

Now here is where things get really interesting. When I go and change the current dimension style’s leader arrowhead to none, then we get the labels looking correctly again! This is the AutoCAD dimension style!

This is a confirmed issue but easy enough to correct. Just set the base drawing’s label style arrowhead SIZE to something like 0.00001.

Sometimes providing technical support can be an interesting adventure Smile.


  1. Som Govender says:

    What you term as “old Style” is the only simple way to deal with drawings from different sources. I am presuming that you are talking about a Civil drawing with a survey background.
    This practice is needed to separate work that is received from Survey. If you change the survey base that is submitted by a licensed professional, then the responsibility is yours (the Civil Engineer)

  2. Matt Kolberg says:

    Nice one Joshua. I’ll have to remember that one.

  3. MurrayC says:

    I have a similar problem where my finished grade spot elevations in the base drawing had a “dot” arrowhead assigned for the dragged state, but when the base drawing was attached as an xref, the dot arrowheads turned into regular closed arrowheads

  4. Murray, give this solution a try and just apply the dot arrowhead instead of a none.

  5. K. Weisser says:

    How does this solution work when multiple arrow head styles are in use in the xref’d source drawing (arrowheads, integrals, dots, etc)?

  6. Karen,
    Good question. Which actually raises a bigger issue of some best practices with file structure. I will try to get a blog article written on that.